THE RINGER – Only one Royals pitcher kept the Indians off the scoreboard Sunday, and he is a center fielder by trade.
With rested relievers in short supply and the Tigers coming to Kauffman Stadium tonight, Royals manager Ned Yost felt compelled to use a position player to pitch the ninth inning.
Mitch Maier gave up a one-out single to Michael Brantley, but induced Asdrubal Cabrera to bounce into a double play to end the inning. Maier did it with “fastballs” that ranged from 74 to 78 miles per hour.
Not that Maier is a novice on the mound. He had done it once before, pitching a scoreless inning against the Red Sox last July 26 at Fenway Park. Maier is the 11th position player in franchise history to be used as a pitcher.
MILESTONES – For the first time in franchise history, the Tribe scored eight or more runs in each of the first three road games of the season…..The 32 runs scored against the Royals are the most in a three-game set since April 7-9, 2000, when the club scored 37 against Tampa Bay.
HONORING THE PIONEER – Sunday was the annual celebration of Jackie Robinson’s career, and every player on the field wore Robinson’s No. 42.
Manager Manny Acta considers Robinson the trailblazer, not only for black players but also for foreign-born players. “No. 42 is important, especially for a guy like me,” he said. “It has a lot of meaning for me. It started with Jackie and Larry Doby in Cleveland. The least we can do is honor those guys, especially Jackie.”
SUPER SUB – After Acta was ejected in the third inning of Saturday night’s game, bench coach Sandy Alomar took over and guided the team to a victory, which officially goes on Acta’s record.
“Sandy did a nice job,” Acta said. “Winning is what counts.”
FARM FACTS – Cord Phelps had three singles, a double and two RBI in Columbus’ 9-4 win over Louisville. Gregorio Petit doubled, singled and drove in two runs. … Carlos Moncrief hit a two-run homer and Jake Lowery doubled and singled, as Carolina defeated Winston-Salem, 7-3. Ronny Rodriguez had two hits and one RBI…..Francisco Lindor had three hits and one RBI, but Lake County lost to Bowling Green, 8-4. Luigi Rodriguez tripled, doubled and drove in a run.
– Sheldon Ocker